It was time to go back to Colorado again for treatment # 31 so we prepped for the journey in this extremely cold weather we have been having. Gabi had a swim meet Saturday the 12th and we were leaving the following morning. We have been planning since Christmas that we were going to go to the American Girl store the next time we went to Colorado. With this knowledge she told me that if she did her best we were going to buy her Ruthie, Kit's best friend. I told her that wasn't going to happen because she was too expensive for us to get for the occasion, but maybe she should ask Santa For Christmas. She seemed understanding and swam her best anyways and took off 3 seconds in her 50 yd Backstroke. At the end of the meet our sweet friends Stephanie and Courtney brought a gift for Gabi for her trip. There were 4 American Girl books, an American Girl game, and 10 wrapped gifts of some her favorite treats.
Each one was wrapped separately and on the front of each one gave her a location to which she could open it, but first there was a game or activity that she had to complete before opening it. It helped her pass the time during the long drive.
#1 was the big white windmills in Spanish Fork Canyon, she just had to spot them to open her first gift... Gummy bears!
#2 was Wellington. She had to tell daddy-o to "SLOW DOWN" so he wouldn't be pulled over by "The Fuzz."
#3 was 30 miles outside of Wellington. She counted the mile markers for 30 miles, it ended up being mile marker 280. When we got out to take the picture we had to walk through 10 inches of snow and it was a balmy -2 degrees, who knows what it felt lie with the windchill! We quickly got back in the warm car.
#4 was Green River. She had to guess what fruit is famous there and then find 5 semi-trucks.
#5 half way to our final destination was Grand Junction. She had to find 2 gas stations, a McDonald's, a red, a white, and a blue car. We stopped for lunch but quickly got back on the road again.
#6 she had to find a town that was named after a type of gun. We read all the cities names from Grand Junction to RIFLE!
#7 Gypsum. She finally fell asleep for a little nap and slept right through Gypsum, she woke up in Avon and she was ready for her gift but not before she said 3 nice things about everyone in the car. Dad- he cooks good food, plays with me, and is nice. Mom- loves me, cares for me, and teaches me things. Gabi- I'm happy, funny, and a good traveler.
#8 ended up being only minutes later in Vail. She had to sing the ABC's and then let me take a picture of her making a funny face.
#9 Georgetown. We had to play a silly game of "I Spy" and of course Gabi won.
We got a special message from Stephanie that when we stopped at American Girl (#9.5) there was a special surprise waiting for her, but we had to find Ann P. After we found Ann she brought out a big bag and said it was just for Gabi. Inside was the biggest surprise anyone could have given a little girl! Her dream came true! Ruthie and all her accessories were inside! PLUS a purse for her doll and new hair supplies to do their hair. She didn't really believe they were hers. She couldn't understand why anyone would have bought them for HER. I had to explain to her how much she is loved by so many people and how special she is!! She kept saying, "Are you sure she is mine? She is like a thousand dollars!" After assuring her that Ruthie was really hers she asked Ann if she could take her out of her box so she could hold her. She kept smiling and saying "They love me so much! I think Courtney really likes me!" I just kept reassuring her that all of it was true. She was so happy walking around the store holding onto her new doll. She wanted to then go find surprises for Izze and her babies back at home. She wanted to get something extra special for her for being so brave to stay at home and help take care of Violet. She found a double stroller just perfect to take her twins on a walk. She made sure that we got Ruthie a pair of pajamas so she would have something to sleep in at her sleepover with Kit in the hotel.
After spending a while walking through the store amazed at all the beautiful things we went back to pick up dad for dinner. After dinner we hurried back to the hotel to change into our suits. But not before she put #10 in the fridge just like it said. Before she could open the last one she had to go have some fun swimming. We jumped into the freezing water and practiced swimming some breastroke for a while. After all the fun we got ready for bed and she cracked open her last gift of he evening ... Ice cold Root beer!
First thing Monday morning we went over to Swedish Medical Center and checked into Pre-op. Gabi had a cough after the meet on Saturday and I took her in to get some Decadron to help keep her airway open so we could still complete her treatment. The anesthesiologist wasn't convinced she was well enough for the treatment, but after a thorough check she decided that after a nebulizer treatment she would be alright.
She ended up waiting u tip 8:30 before she went in to her MRI. Before she chose her flavor to go in the mask she remember something the Stephanie had told her about when she goes under general anesthesia, and that is to think about what you want to dream about before and then start thinking about your dream as you go under anesthesia. She told me that she was going to have a tea party with Kit and Ruthie. What a great idea to help calm a little girls anxieties. She closed her eyes layer her head back on my arm and she fell fast asleep into her tea party dream. We received a call about 2 hours later from Dr. Yakes. He said that they were waking Gabi up and that it went well. He also said that "Her MRI looked much improved from previous studies." He gave her 17 ml of ethanol and she would be in recovery soon. It was awesome to hear him give us the good news about her MRI! I have never heard him excited to give us any news, and I could hear it in his voice how much he really believed it was "much better." I met Gabi back in recovery where they had given her a whole cocktail of anti-nausea medications and was soundly sleeping for the next 6 hours.
It took her a bit to kick that anesthesia but she felt decent when she woke up. She wanted to watch a movie and eat some food and that's exactly what we did.
She watched The Muppet's and ate some mashed potatoes and gravy and a grilled cheese sandwich. We went back to the hotel and she finished sleeping off the anesthesia for the rest of the night. Tuesday morning she had no blisters, her eyes were not swollen shut, and she could close her lips together! There were a lot of prayers and fasting and she was blessed! Thank you to everyone for your continuous support, care, concern, and especially your prayers in behalf of Gabi girl.
Another one down and we can see a shimmer of light at the end of this very long tunnel we've been traveling through!